An incredibly ancient herb, horsetail's ancestors lived when dinosaurs walked the planet. The herb, Equisetum arvense, has been used as both a whole plant and as an herbal extract for everything from cleaning silver, to treating wounds and fighting cellulite.
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Horsetail's high amounts of silica make the extract ideal for strengthening bones and connective tissue. Because it also acts as a high-mineral diuretic, holistic healers recommend it to people suffering from cystitis and bloating.
Packed with magnesium and silica, horsetail extract builds collagen in the skin, resulting in a younger, smoother complexion. Its astringent properties also make it a key skin care ingredient for acne-fighting products. Because of its ability to ease water retention, horsetail extract often appears in anti-cellulite teas and skin creams.
"The Green Witch Herbal" suggests gargling with horsetail extract or an infusion because it strengthens teeth and gums, and also treats mouth sores.
Hair and Nail Care
Horsetail extract's high silica content also lends itself well to fingernail and toenail health. A soak in the extract, diluted with warm water, helps spur nail growth. Natural hair care products often contain horsetail for its ability to stimulate the scalp and treat dandruff.
A hot water extract or infusion of horsetail can be cooled and poured over plants suffering from rust, mildew or other fungal-based diseases.
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